Southampton’s Vice-Chancellor just changed his own title to ‘President’

Other countries aren’t taking him seriously enough


Southampton’s recently installed uni boss Sir Christopher Snowden has changed his job title from Vice-Chancellor to ‘President and Vice-Chancellor’.

A university statement confirmed the change, citing “other countries” perceiving the title ‘Vice-Chancellor’ as “indicating that they are not getting access to an appropriately senior person”.

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The change is “unlikely to be permanently established until Summer 2016”, as it still needs to be ratified by Privy Council, along with several changes to the staffing structure.

The biggest change will be the establishment of several new “Vice-Presidents”, who the uni say will “each hold a key, strategic portfolio and report directly to the President and Vice-Chancellor”.

The current roles of Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost will be scrapped under the planned changes, with each being superseded by the new roles.

Sir Christopher said of the staff changes “I would like to make it quite clear that colleagues occupying current positions have done a superb job in providing leadership and managing their current portfolios, for which I am extremely grateful.”

While Snowden’s seniority will no longer be in question, his new salary remains a mystery- the University claim they are unable to reveal his salary until the next financial review in April.

His salary at his last job, where he was a lowly Vice-Chancellor at the University of Surrey, landed him a £392,000 basic annual salary. His predecessor Don Nutbeam raked in a basic £320,000, with potential annual bonuses reaching up to a massive £80,000.

Despite being criticised by the University and College Union in 2014 for taking a payrise of 2.8% while “refusing to offer staff more than 1%”, Sir Christopher’s regime so far has seen some improvements for Southampton’s staff. The University announced last week it would be increasing the hourly pay of its lowest paid workers to £8.25, as part of their “commitment to pay a fair wage”.